Taxpayers have the right to appeal an IRS decision in an independent forum. This is one of ten basic rights — known collectively as the Taxpayer Bill of Rights — that all taxpayers have when working with the IRS.
The IRS’s Independent Office of Appeals that handles a taxpayer's case must be separate from the IRS office that initially reviewed that case. Generally, Appeals will not discuss a case with the IRS to the extent that those communications appear to compromise the independence of Appeals.
Here are some important details about the right to appeal a decision in an independent forum:
- A statutory notice of deficiency is an IRS letter proposing additional tax. Taxpayers who receive this notice and then timely file a petition with the United States Tax Court may dispute the proposed adjustment before they must pay the tax.
- Taxpayers are entitled to a fair and impartial administrative appeal of most IRS decisions, including many penalties.
- Taxpayers have the right to receive a written response regarding a decision from the Office of Appeals.
- When taxpayers don't agree with the IRS's decisions, they can refer to Publication 5, Your Appeal Rights and How To Prepare a Protest If You Don't Agree, for details on how to appeal.
- Generally, taxpayers may file a refund suit in a United States district court or the United States Court of Federal Claims if:
- They have fully paid the tax and the IRS has denied their tax refund claim.
- No action is taken on the refund claim within six months.
- It's been less than two years since the IRS mailed them a notice denying the refund
Publication 1, Your Rights as a Taxpayer
United States Tax Court
Online Videos and Podcasts of the Appeals Process